Transcribed by Rae Wayne
July 20, 1950
* CAL’S COLUMN *
Although our sister, Anna, has been gone for a month, we still go back over the long trail of memory and recall many, many things in her life. We closed our last article for this column by promising to finish the article that began in the first paper published after the unexpected death of the editor’s sister.
The other article dealt largely with things and events along her life of 47 years, things that were perhaps amusing. As she was such a great lover of the brighter and funnier side of life, we believe that we are doing her memory no injustice to relate some other things along the same line with a different angle now and then.
We recall many, many things that occurred while Anna made her home with the writer. This began on February 6, 1915. Shortly after she came into Cal’s home, another sister, still younger had been sent to feed some dry bread to some very young chickens. This younger sister, who was but a child of a few summers, returned from her task and said, “You all can’t guess what I have been doing. It begins with a C.” Anna’s almost instant reply was, “Chewing for the chickens.” This brought a lot of laughter and perhaps a little chagrin to the little girl who had been sent to feed the chickens.
On another occasion, in 1916, the writer was engaged in a revival at a certain church in Macon County. The family at home had hitched our faithful old “Bob” to a surrey and had all come to the revival. The family left home be**** and arrived at **** time services beg**** of the older girls had gone to be guests in a home not far from the church. No supper was offered as the entertaining family supposed all of us had had our evening meal before attending church. That night Anna made some complaint about being hungry as did others of the family, but Cal was rather bashful then and did not feel like asking for something to eat. Anyway part of the group went to bed hungry. The next morning some rain was falling and the family with whom we had spent the night, was rather slow in rising. Breakfast did not take place until about eight o’clock in the morning. During about two hours of time, Anna was almost constantly complaining about being so hungry. Finally, Cal heard her say: “I am so hungry that I am in a cold sweat.”
Transcriber Note: **** above words were cover by mailing label on the microfilmed records.
On another occasion when she was getting about grown, a neighbor boy rode by our home one morning, the youth being on horseback. He returned from Pleasant Shade, which was near and on his way toward his home which was some distance west of that town. Anna came in shortly after the youth had passed and announced, “__________ just went down the road with his right leg in a sack and when he came back he had his left leg in the same sack.” She was laughing with a heartiness seldom seen in any young girl. She had correctly diagnosed the youth’s trouble as being ashamed to pass the home of three young girls who might see that he was barefooted. For fear of this very thing he had taken a common tow sack and put his right foot and leg into the bag, this leg being next to the house as he went toward Pleasant Shade. On the return trip he had swapped the bag to the left leg, which was on the side next to the writer’s home on his return trip. Anna got a great kick out of this event which she had observed with a quick eye and with a view of getting a lot of fun from same.
Still later Mr. Stephens, cashier of the Pleasant Shade Bank, offered Anna a position in the bank which she accepted. Here she proved to be reliable in her figures, accurate in her work and kind and pleasant to the public with whom she had to deal. Mr. Mr. Stephens remarked some time ago, prior to Anna’s death, that she was the best help he ever had in a bank, that he often called on Anna to see what some depositor’s balance was; and that in nearly every instance, Anna knew from memory exactly what the depositor had to his credit.
Some time ago our sister wrote a letter to her brother in which she said, “I suppose you will think that I am rather silly in writing to you as I am doing, but I want to thank you for all you have done for me in the past. You have been a father and a brother to me and I may have never before thanked you for all that you have done for me. I may not live long and I wanted you to know something of the way I feel toward you.” This letter made the writer have a feeling then of impending death for his sister. The sentiments of that letter will live in memory as long as life itself lasts. We appreciate all that this good, noble and kind sister wrote, and now that she is dead, the loss is sad and hard to bear.
One other incident in the life of our departed sister remains indelibly on the pages of memory. When we had lost our mother, our poor, worn-out father could no longer make a living for his large family, and got into debt to the amount of a few hundred dollars. At his death there was nothing with which to pay these debts except to sell the small amount of property he had left. To do this, we had to break up the old home, sell everything in that home, and scatter the children to other places to reside. The writer had arranged for homes for all the children except a grown brother who was able to look out for himself, and one sister who had married shortly before and had a home of her own. We were to take the youngest child, a boy named Albert, and two sisters into our own home, although such arrangement for the boy was to be only temporary. We had arranged for four sisters to have homes with as many relatives of ours. We had everything fixed, as we thought, and so had a sale on February 6, 1915, at which we sold everything in the house, all the stock, feed and everything that remained except the little rough farm. Cal lived about three miles away in the Piper’s School house section where he was the teacher; and he had brought with him to the sale a two-horse wagon in which to move some things he expected to purchase at the sale. All day long the sale continued and the shades of night were beginning to fall when the sale had ended. People were taking away their purchases and the house was topsy-turvy, and people in a hurry to get home did not help the situation. It was already a sad, sad day for the writer who had seen the things of his father’s old home sold, keepsakes even, and some of which he would have liked to have bought, but finances were extremely short with him. So as folks began to go to their homes, our sisters began to separate, carrying their pitifully small amount of clothing with them, just a little bundle for each one. Those who were to take one of the girls began to get ready to leave and part of the number had left. The family that was going to take Anna began to ask for her. We had about all the load we could carry anyway, as we had seen one item after another go out of the old home and had already seen part of the girls leave. But we set out to find the missing sister. Finally on the seat of the wagon the writer had brought to the sale and on which he planned to move away his purchases, he found a little girl with thin, silky hair, rather large eyes and mouth and with sad, averted face, who spoke sadly and on the verge of tears and said, “I am going home with Cal.” We could not tell her nay and so she came to be both a sister and daughter, to gladden our home, to help and to aid and assist as best she could for the next nine years.
We do not recall having ever gathered together again, the ten of us, since that gloomy, sad and depressing February day more than 35 years ago. And we will never all meet again here below, for the little boy of that day, then five years old, and the youngest member of the family of ten children of our parents, a boy with poor eyesight and badly handicapped in this way, was destined to be the first of the number to go. He bade us farewell on December 21, 1935, and then we were just nine. Now Anna has gone, the first of seven girls to leave, and we are now eight. Although we shall never meet again in our earthly home, prospects are bright and alluring for a glad reunion in our Heavenly Father’s house.
If any reader thinks we are overly sentimental and even silly, we hope that you will not judge us too harshly, for we are sad and sorrowful and our load is heavy, so heavy.